By Kenneth Vanish
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Camden County College is conducting a Giving Tree drive for those in need. Organized by Associate Dean of Students Jacqueline Tenuto, the drive’s mission is to encourage students to donate items and to encourage needy students to receive what they need.
“I wanted to have a place where students could donate items and also receive items anonymously. The tree, it’s not a Christmas Tree, it’s just an evergreen, is there for students to be able to give hats, scarves and gloves for people who need them and hopefully people that didn’t like their hat from grandma or Uncle Bob,” Tenuto said.
The drive started on Nov. 29 and will end on Dec. 20. Tenuto emphasized students who need any of the items on the tree should not hesitate to go and get what they need.
“If you need a scarf, you take a scarf. If you need a hat, you take a hat. Each day we will replenish the supply until we’re all out, but right now, I’ve seen people anonymously donating items and students just taking what they need,” she said.
Students and faculty members can also donate items to the organization without anyone knowing who they are. The drive has three trees spread on three campuses.
“They can just go right to the tree in the Blackwood campus, which is in the Taft building first floor. The Rohrer campus tree is in the Rohrer lobby, and the Camden campus tree is in the college hall first-floor lobby. Each campus has a tree,” Tenuto said.
The drive began when the student life office donated to the Giving Tree.
“Student Life and Activities made an initial purchase of over 500 pieces so that each tree had supplies to get started, but as faculty and staff are making donations, the tree is growing,” Tenuto said.
The college also has a food pantry for needy students. The Blackwood campus pantry is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Camden campus pantry is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, but Tenuto said needy students can come to her even when the pantries are not open.
Students in need of resources including food, clothing or anything financial may contact Tenuto at 856-374-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is in Room 302 of Taft Hall on the Blackwood campus.